Emmylou Harris with Spyboy feat. Buddy Miller – Live In Germany 2000 (2011)

Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and has won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. (wikipedia)

Her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers’ works, a singer-songwriter, and a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists.

12-time Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, gained admiration as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Few in pop or country music have achieved such honesty or revealed such maturity in their writing.

In this 2000 concert, Emmylou Harris combined tasteful choices from her early repertoire with newer work, often her own compositions, backed by the band she called Spyboy, which featured the hard-working guitarist and singer Buddy Miller.

Harris came as an emissary to commercial country from the 1960’s folk and rock toward which Nashville mavericks were already leaning. With her dark, natural, hippie-ish beauty, her ethereally powerful soprano, and her fascination with the grittier roots of country music, Harris broke molds established for both women and new artists in Nashville country. With the Hot Band, she brought virtuoso rock-influenced chops to country picking and helped introduce a new audience of young, college-radio fans not only to her own take on country, and to the rock-friendly work of songwriters like Rodney Crowell, but also to the virtues of great artists like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, the Louvin Brothers, and Dolly Parton.

She sings some of those early album favorites here: Crowell’s “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Gram Parsons and Chris Hillmans’ “Wheels,” and Parsons and Bob Buchanan’s beautiful “Hickory Wind.” Combined with classic songs like the Louvins “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” which gave her a top-five country hit, Harris quickly established herself as a new kind of country artist, with both radio-single and album-oriented appeal. She had number-one country hits with the chestnuts “Together Again” and “Sweet Dreams,” and her second album on Reprise, “Elite Hotel,” reached number one on the country album charts while also finding its way into many college record collections. Later albums in the vein, including “Luxury Liner” and “Blue Kentucky Girl” established Harris as a crossover star.

In 1980, she made further innovations, releasing a bluegrass album, “Roses in the Snow,” which was distinguished by placing her characteristic solo and harmony singing in bluegrass arrangements and bringing new listeners to country’s acoustic forms. For the rest of her career, Harris would remain an important exponent of older and more traditional styles in country music.

Yet this 2000 concert finds her in what was then yet another new mode. In the early 1990’s her commercial radio success had diminished, in part, and ironically, because of the rise of “new traditionalist” artists whom she’d played a strong part in influencing. Harris became a trademark of country authenticity, appearing on albums by Steve Earle and other innovators with deep respect for bluegrass and classic country. In 1995 she released the album “Wrecking Ball,” launching Spyboy as a touring band with Buddy Miller and moving fairly assertively away from traditional country, with songs like “Deeper Well,” featured here. The 2000 follow-up “Red Dirt Girl,” widely acclaimed, featured Harris’s own songs, many of them also heard here.

“Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few left as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of “cosmic American music” passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young – not surprisingly an occasional collaborator – no other mainstream star established a similarly large body of work as consistently iconoclastic, eclectic, or daring; even more than four decades into her career, Harris’ latter-day music remained as heartfelt, visionary, and vital as her earliest recordings.” (William Hoghland)

Recorded live in Baden-Baden, Germany on October 31, 2000.

Personnel:
Brian Blade (drums)
Tony Hall (bass, vocals)
Emmylou Harris (guitar, vocals)
Buddy Miller (guitar, vocals)

Tracklist:
01. The Pearl (Harris) 5.22
02. I Don’t Wanna Talk About It Now (Cunniff/Harris/Johnson) 4.46
03. I Ain’t Living Long Like This (Crowell) 4.19
04. Raise The Dead (Harris) 3.27
05. Red Dirt Girl (Harris) 4.50
06. Love Hurts (Bryant) 3.00
07. Hour Of Gold (Harris) 5.00
08. Deeper Well (Harris/Lanois/Olney) 6.22
09. Michaelangelo (Harris) 4.50
10. Boy From Tupelo (Harris) 3.34
11. Wheels (Hillman/Parsons) 3.11
12. Born To Run (Kennerley) 4.45
13. Hickory Wind (Buchanan/Parsons) 4.55

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Slim Boyd And The Rangehands – Country And Western Hits (1963)

FrontCover1And here´ a rare Country & Western album from 1963 … Slim Boyd And The Rangehands …

Slim Boyd And The Rangehands ?

Slim Boyd is one of many aliasse of Curley Williams:

Curley Williams (b. Dock Williams, June 3, 1914 – d. September 5, 1970) was an American country and western musician and songwriter from Georgia. His best-known song is “Half As Much”. He was admitted to the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Williams was born near Cairo, Georgia and was raised on the family farm in Grady County, Georgia. His father and grandfather were fiddle players, which was the instrument Williams himself took up. Williams was given the name “Dock” because he was a seventh son and a tradition held that seventh sons became doctors.

Around 1940 Williams debuted with a band named The Santa Fe Trail Riders on WPAX in Thomasville, Georgia. In December 1942 the band was invited to join the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Because Andrew Smik was already well-known performing as “Doc Williams” with his band The Border Riders, George D. Hay suggested that Williams change his first-name from Dock to Curley, for his curly hair.

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Hay also suggested that the band become the Georgia Peach Pickers as most of its members were from Georgia (including Williams’ brothers Joseph and Sanford on rhythm guitar, and on bass and comedy respectively). The Georgia Peach Pickers brought the first Steel Guitar to the Opry stage. The Georgia Peach Pickers agreed a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1943 and remained associated with Columbia into the 1950s. Some of their best known songs, such as “Jealous Lady”, “Georgia Steel Guitar”, “Southern Belle (from Nashville Tennessee)”, and “Georgia Boogie” of which there is a video of on YouTube. They also provided backing for other Columbia artists such as Zeke Clements and Johnny Bond. During a tour of California they appeared in the 1947 film “Riders of the Lone Star” starring Charles Starrett.

Williams’ best-known song, “Half As Much” was written in 1950 while he and his band were working with the WHMA radio station, which broadcast to the Alabama cities of Anniston, Birmingham, Montgomery and Dothan. Reputedly, Williams wrote and recorded a demo of “Half as Much” very quickly, in about an hour, at WHMA in Dothan. Curley Williams02But it was a big hit for Hank Williams, to whom it is sometimes credited because the writing credit to “C. Williams” on Hank Williams’ record was often taken to be a typo. It was also a hit for Rosemary Clooney, and has been recorded by many artists, including Connie Francis, Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, and Van Morrison. George Bush also loved this song and appreciated this song very much.

Williams moved to WSFA in Montgomery in 1953. He stayed in Montgomery until he died in 1970. For a couple of years he also had a show on WCOV-TV, and he ran a country night club called “The Spur”. (by wikipedia)

Although this is not my style of music, it´s an intersting album, because we can hear old, very old C & W tunes (Hank Williams and other musicians) … from the very early days of this music. So, enjoy this sentimental trip in the past.

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Personnel:
Curley “Slim Boyd” Williams  (vocals, fiddle)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

Alternate frontcover from Germany:
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Tracklist:
01. Hey Good Lookin’ (Williams) 3.01
02. Prisoner’s Song (Dalhart) 3.05
03. I Can’t Help It (Williams)  2.31
04. I Won’t Be Home No More (Williams) 2.55
05. Down In The Valley (Traditional) 2.12
06. Ridin’ Down The Canyon (Burnette) 2.44
07. Cowpoke (Jones) 3.04
08. Bad Brahma Bull (Fletcher) 3.10
09. Sweet Betsy From Pike (Traditional/Rush) 2.44
10. Red River Valley (Traditional) 1.43

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Curley Williams & The Georgia Peach Pickers:
Curley Williams & The Georgia Peach Pickers

Jimmy Bryant – The Fastest Guitar In The Country (1967)

FrontCover1Ivy J. Bryant, Jr. (March 5, 1925 – September 22, 1980), known as Jimmy Bryant, was an American country music guitarist.

Bryant was born in Moultrie, Georgia, the oldest of 12 children. During the Great Depression he played the fiddle on street corners to help the family buy food, pushed to do so by his father.

After being wounded in World War II, he began working seriously on his guitar playing, influenced heavily by Django Reinhardt. After the war, he returned to Moultrie, then moved to Los Angeles county where he worked in Western films and played music in bars around L.A.’s Skid Row, where he met pioneering pedal steel guitarist Speedy West. West, who joined Cliffie Stone’s popular Hometown Jamboree local radio and TV show, suggested Bryant be hired when the show’s original guitarist departed. That gave Bryant access to Capitol Records since Stone was a Capitol artist and talent scout.

In 1950 Tex Williams heard Bryant’s style and used him on his recording of “Wild Card”. In addition, Bryant and West played on the Tennessee Ernie Ford-Kay Starr hit “I’ll Never Be Free”, leading to both men being signed to Capitol as instrumentalists. Bryant and West became a team, working extensively with each other.

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Bryant was a difficult musician to work with. By 1955 he left Hometown Jamboree (retaining his friendship with West) and after various clashes with his Capitol producer Ken Nelson, the label dropped him in 1956. In 1957 Jimmy Bryant was a part of one of the first integrated television shows featuring popular radio and television star Jimmie Jackson who hosted the show along with black Jazz violinist and recording star, Stuff Smith and black jazz percussionist and recording star, George Jenkins. He continued working in Los Angeles and in the early 1960s he and his trio made an appearance in the Coleman Francis film The Skydivers.

During the 1960s he shifted into music production. Waylon Jennings made a hit of his song “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line”. He can also be heard playing fiddle on the Monkees’ “Sweet Young Thing”.[1] In the early 1970s Bryant ran a recording studio in Las Vegas, but finally relocated to Georgia before settling in Nashville in 1975, the same year he reunited with Speedy West for a reunion album produced by Nashville steel guitarist Pete Drake. Bryant played in Nashville bars and did some recording work but his personality did not mesh well with Nashville’s highly political music and recording industry. In 1978, in declining health, Bryant learned that he had lung cancer; he was a heavy smoker.

He died in Moultrie in September 1980 at the age of 55. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a real great album:

Fretboard fanatics…fret no more! Here at last is the album that christened Jimmy Bryant with the distinct moniker of “Fastest Guitar in the Country.” After a run of success with steel guitarist Speedy West on Capitol Records, Jimmy Bryant signed a solo contract with Imperial Records in the mid ’60s. While Bryant’s recordings with West established him as a fretboard genius, it was the 1967 release of The Fastest Guitar in the Country that left the disc jockey world wondering if his lighting speed was legitimate. Naysayers were left in awe as they witnessed Bryant’s dizzying technique at a DJ convention in Nashville. Bryant’s frenzied fretboard flair is in full effect on his rendition of the classic “Sugar Foot Rag” and “Little Rock Getaway” bearing evidence as to why this is one of the most electrifying instrumental recordings of all time. This collection of jazz-fueled country pickin’ is the ultimate testament of Jimmy Bryant’s gift to the guitar world. (Promo text)

I’m a professional musician and music educator of many years. Although it’s not my chosen style of guitar playing, Jimmy’s a heck of a picker! (Zoko)

Believe me: Country music with lots of jazz influences (listen to Duke Ellingtons “Caravan”) … enjoy this very special album !

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Personnel:
Jimmy Bryant (guitar, fiddle)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Twelfth Street Rag (Bowman) 1.41
02. Little Rock Getaway (Sullivan/Sigman) 1.52
03. Caravan (Ellington/Tizol) 2.30
04. Down Yonder (Gilbert) 1.42
05. Georgia Boogie (Harris/Turner) 1.51
06. Orange Blossom Special (Rouse) 2,24
07. Tico-Tico (Abreu) 1.59
08. Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana) (MacDonald/Hanley) 2.04
09. Ten Wheels (Harris/Turner) 1.49
10. Stumbling (Confrey) 1.58
11. Voxwagon (Harris/Turner) 1.52
12. Sugarfoot Rag (Garland/Vaughn) 1.29

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Jimmy Bryant with the voxmobile:
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John Prine – Austin City Limits (2018)

FrontCover1John Prine, who for five decades wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that chronicled the struggles and stories of everyday working people and changed the face of modern American roots music, died Tuesday April 7 at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 73. The cause was complications related to COVID-19, his family confirmed to Rolling Stone.

Prine, who left behind an extraordinary body of folk-country classics, was hospitalized last month after the sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and was placed in intensive care for 13 days. Prine’s wife and manager, Fiona, announced on March 17th that she had tested positive for the virus after they had returned from a European tour.

As a songwriter, Prine was admired by Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and others, known for his ability to mine seemingly ordinary experiences – he wrote many of his classics as a mailman in Maywood, Illinois – for revelatory songs that covered the full spectrum of the human experience. There’s “Hello in There,” about the devastating loneliness of an elderly couple; “Sam Stone,” a portrait of a drug-addicted Vietnam soldier suffering from PTSD; and “Paradise,” an ode to his parents’ strip-mined hometown of Paradise, Kentucky, which became an environmental anthem. Prine tackled these subjects with empathy and humor, with an eye for “the in-between spaces,” the moments people don’t talk about, he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism,” Dylan said in 2009. “Midwestern mind-trips to the nth degree.” (Rolling Stone)

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Forty years ago, John Prine made his Austin City Limits debut in the venerable music series’ third season. Prine has since returned to the ACL stage several times and will do so again this weekend, performing a mix of classic material and new songs from his most recent (and last) album, The Tree of Forgiveness.

An emotional highlight of the singer-songwriter’s 2018 LP is “Summer’s End,” a bittersweet tune that comes to terms not with the change of seasons, but with grief, loss and alienation. Those themes are beautifully brought to life… need only Prine’s sage vocal delivery to convey their gravitas with compassion and warmth. (Stephen L Betts, rollingstone.com)

Thanks to indykid for sharing the HDTV webcast at Dime.

Recorded live at The Moody Theater, Austin, Texas; June 5, 2018
Very good audio (ripped from HDTV webcast)

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Personnel:
Kenneth Blevins (drums)
David Jacques (bass, vocals)
Fats Kaplin (fiddle, pedal steel-guitar, mandolin, guitar, vocals)
John Prine (vocals, guitar)
Jason Wilber (guitar, vocals)
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Tyler Childers (vocals, guitar on 08., 09. + 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro/Knockin’ On Your Screen Door (Prine/McLaughlin) 4.49
02. Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone) (Prine) 3.53
03. Summer’s End (Prine/McLaughlin) 4.06
04. Caravan Of Fools (Prine/McLaughlin/Auerbach) 4.06
05. Lonesome Friends Of Science (Prine) 4.51
06. Boundless Love (Prine/McLaughlin/Auerbach) 3.51
07. Illegal Smile (Prine) 4.19
08. Please Don’t Bury Me (Prine) 4.00
09. Lady May (Prine) 3:07
10. Lake Marie (Prine) 7.27
11. When I Get To Heaven (Prine) 4.02
12. Paradise (Prine) 5.36

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John Prine (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020)

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler (1978)

FrontCover1Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Rogers was particularly popular with country audiences but also charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres, and topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone. He sold over 100 million records worldwide during his lifetime, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

On March 20, 2020, Rogers died under hospice care at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia, a representative for the singer said in a statement. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the family is planning a small private service with a public memorial planned for a later date.

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The Gambler is the sixth studio album by Kenny Rogers, released by United Artists in December 1978. One of his most popular, it has established Rogers’ status as one of the most successful artists of the 1970s and 1980s. The album reached many markets around the world, such as the Far East and Jamaica, with Rogers later commenting “When I go to Korea or Hong Kong people say ‘Ah, the gambler!'” (as per the sleeve notes to the 1998 released box set “Through the Years” on Capitol Records). The album has sold over 35 million copies.

The title track “The Gambler” was written by Don Schlitz, who was the first to record it. It was also covered by several other artists, but it was Kenny Rogers’ adaptation of the tale that went on to top the country charts and win a Song of the Year Grammy, later becoming Rogers’ signature song. Although Johnny Cash recorded the song first, Kenny Rogers’s version was released first. Both this song and “She Believes in Me” became pop Postermusic hits, helping Rogers become well-known beyond country music circles. Although largely compiled from songs by some of the music business’s top songwriters, such as Alex Harvey, Mickey Newbury, and Steve Gibb, Rogers continued to show his own talent for songwriting with “Morgana Jones”. The album was produced by Larry Butler.

Its popularity has led to many releases over the years. After United Artists was absorbed into EMI/Capitol in 1980, “The Gambler” was reissued on vinyl and cassette on the Liberty Records label. Several years later, Liberty issued an abridged version of the album, removing the track “Morgana Jones”. EMI Manhattan Records released “The Gambler” on CD in the 1980s.[3] An ‘Original Master Recording’ from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs was released on vinyl (audiophile edition vinyl).[4] Finally, “The Gambler” was released on Rogers’ own Dreamcatcher Records in 2001 as part of the Kenny Rogers “Original Masters Series.”

In Britain, both the title cut and the album did very well in the country market, but both failed to reach the top 40 of the pop charts. In the 1980s the single of “The Gambler” was re-issued and made the top 100 sales list, but again charted outside the top 40. It wasn’t until the song was re-issued in 2007 when the song was adopted by the England Rugby Team at the Rugby World Cup that it charted at its #22 peak.

Additionally, “I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again” was later a single in 1986 for T. Graham Brown, whose version went to #3 on the country charts. (by wikipedia)

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Kenny Rogers took a bit of a chance in releasing this loosly based concept album at the time, but boy, did it pay off! Sales for the album went through the roof, as the title track and “She Believes In Me” became pop crossover hits, with the latter reaching the pop Top 10. Later, “The Gambler” was turned into a string of made-for-television movies. (by James Chrispell)

he Gambler was Kenny Rogers’ third album of 1978, after Love or Something Like It and Every Time Two Fools Collide, a duet album with Dottie West. Thanks to its career-defining title track, The Gambler was also Kenny’s best-selling studio album, with more than five million copies sold in the US.

Written by Don Schlitz, “The Gambler” was a story song, the type at which Rogers excelled. It tells the tale the down-on-his-luck narrator who receives some unsolicited advice from a professional gambler during a late-night chance meeting on a “train bound for nowhere”. It was a monster hit, reaching #1 on the country chart, #3 on the adult contemporary chart and #16 on the Hot 100, and is Rogers’ best-remembered song today. Surprisingly, he wasn’t the first to record it. Bobby Bare and Johnny Cash had both released it as an album cut and Schlitz recorded his own version, which maxed out at #65. The album’s other hit single was the ballad “She Believes in Me”, a lush ballad about a struggling musician and the supportive wife he repeatedly takes for granted. It’s a bit too AC-leaning for a lot of people, but it’s a song I’ve always liked a lot. It reached #1 on the country and AC charts, and reached #5 on the Hot 100.

Singles

“I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again” is another nice ballad, written by Rafe Van Hoy, Don Cook and Curly Putman, that would go on to be a big hit for T. Graham Brown in 1986. I think Kenny’s version could have been a big hit, but perhaps United Artists didn’t want to release another ballad on the heels of “She Believes In Me”. Sonny Throckmorton’s “A Little More Like Me (The Crucifixion)”, about a charismatic celebrity — a thinly veiled metaphor for Christ — is another track I really enjoyed.

KennyRogers02In the 1970s, country artists with crossover potential rarely released albums that were country through and through, preferring instead to include a variety of styles in order to appeal to as wide an audience as possible (although more often than not they managed to please no one). Kenny Rogers was no exception. I expected The Gambler to be a more country-leaning album, but a number of tracks: “Makin’ Music for Money”, “The Hoodooin’ of Miss Fannie DeBerry” (both written by Alex Harvey) and “Tennessee Bottle” incorporate a bluesy, funky vibe that might have been considered cutting edge in the late 70s, but it hasn’t aged at all well. I didn’t like any of these songs. Add to that list Rogers’ original composition “Morgana Jones”, a hot mess of a song that features some jazz scatting along with the R&B and funk.

Overall, The Gambler is a mixed bag. Only the two hit singles are essential listening. The album can be streamed, and it may be worth picking up a cheap copy if you can find it, but I recommend cherry-picking the handful of decent songs and forgetting about the rest.(by Razor X)

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Personnel:
Thomas Cain (keyboards)
Pete Drake (steel guitar)
Gene Golden (keyboards, background vocals)
Steve Glassmeyer (keyboards, saxophone, background vocals)
Hargus “Pig” Robbins (keyboards)
Kenny Rogers (vocals)
Edgar Struble /synthesizer, clavinet, percussion, background vocals)
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guitar:
Jimmy Capps Randy Dorman – Ray Edenton – Rick Harper – Billy Sanford – Jerry Shook –Tony Joe White – Reggie Young
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bass:
Tommy Allsup – Bob Moore – Dennis Wilson
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drums, percussion:
Eddy Anderson – Jerry Carrigan – Bobby Daniels – Byron Metcalf
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strings (arranged by Bill Justis)
Byron Bach – George Brinkley – Marvin Chantry – Roy Christensen – Carl Gorodetzky –Lennie Haight – Sheldon Kurland – Steven Smith – Gary Vanosdale – Pamela Vanosdale
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background vocals:
Dottie West – The Jordanaires – Bill Medley – Mickey Newbury

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Tracklist:
01. The Gambler (Schlitz) 3.31
02. I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again (Van Hoy/Cook/Putman) 3.00
03. King Of Oak Street (Harvey) 5.15
04. Makin’ Music For Money (Harvey) 3.20
05. Hoodooin’ Of Miss Fannie Deberry (Harvey) 4.40
06. She Believes In Me (Gibb) 4.19
07. Tennessee Bottle (Ritchey) 4.02
08. Sleep Tight, Goodnight Man (Lorber/Silbar) 2.55
09. Little More Like Me (The Crucifixion) (Throckmorton) 2.50
10. San Francisco Mabel Joy (Newbury) 3.44
11. Morgana Jones (Rogers) 3.10

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Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020)

Dixie Chicks – Fly (1999)

FrontCover1Fly is the fifth studio album by American country band Dixie Chicks, released in 1999. The album was very successful for the group, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It has received diamond status by the RIAA on June 25, 2002 in the United States, for shipments of 10 million units.

The tracks “Ready to Run”, “Cowboy Take Me Away”, “Without You”, “Goodbye Earl”, “Cold Day in July”, “Heartbreak Town”, “Some Days You Gotta Dance” and “If I Fall You’re Going Down with Me” were all released as singles; “Sin Wagon” also charted without officially being released. “Some Days You Gotta Dance” was previously recorded by The Ranch, a short-lived country trio founded by Keith Urban in the late 1990s. Urban plays guitar on the Dixie Chicks’ rendition. (by wikipedia)

Wide Open Spaces unveiled the new incarnation of the Dixie Chicks, revealing an eclectic, assured group that was simultaneously rootsy and utterly modern, but if that 1998 de facto debut captured the band just leaving the ground, Fly — perhaps appropriately, given the title — finds the group in full flight, in full possession of their talents.

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This time around, the different sounds they draw upon are more fully integrated, which only makes them more distinctive as a group. Even if the whole of the album feels more of a piece, they still take the time to deliver a slice of pure honky tonk on “Hello Mr. Heartache” and a piece of breakneck bluegrass on the rip-roaring, wickedly clever “Sin Wagon,” which is also one of the group originals here, a collaboration between Natalie Maines and Emily Robison and outside writer Stephony Smith.

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It — along with the Maines-cowritten “Without You,” the Maines/Robison “Don’t Waste Your Heart” and Martie Seidel’s co-written “Ready to Run” and “Cowboy Take Me Away” — showcase the trio’s increasing craft as writers, which is one of the reasons this album sounds unified. But even the outside-written material feels like the group, whether it’s the twangy boogie “Some Days You Gotta Dance,” Patty Griffin’s “Let Him Fly,” the melancholy “Cold Day in July” and, especially “Goodbye Earl” where a wife gets revenge on her abusive husband. Like before, the group moves gracefully between these different styles, with Maines providing a powerful, compelling focus with Robison and Seidel offering sensitive support, and this blend makes Fly a rich, nuanced album that just gets better with repeated listens. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

In other words: This is one of the best Country orientated albums I ever heard  … and … enjoy the great booklet !

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Personnel:
Natalie Maines (vocals)
Emily Robison (guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals, lap steel guitar)
Martie Seidel (fiddle, mandolin, viola, background vocals)
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Pat Buchanan (guitar)
Blake Chancey (handclapping)
Steve Conn (accordion)
Marcus Hummon (guitar on 01.)
Mike Henderson (guitar on 12.)
Dennis Linde – acoustic guitar on “Goodbye Earl”
Terry McMillan (percussion)
Lloyd Maines (steel guitar)
George Marinelli (guitar on 05. + 12.)
John Mock (concertina, bodhrán, tin whistle)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Steve Nathan (keyboards)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Tom Roady (percussion)
Charlie Robison (handclapping)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Randy Scruggs (guitar)
Adam Steinberg (guitar on 10. + 15.)
Bryan Sutton (guitar on 09.)
Keith Urban (guitar on 11.)
Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (guitar on 01. + 10.)
Paul Worley (guitar, background vocals)
“Iffy harmony” vocals on “Goodbye Earl” performed by
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background vocals on 06.:
The “Do-Wrongs”:
Blake Chancey – Paul Worley – Charlie Robison.
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String section on 10.:

Violins:
Martie Seidel – Carl Gorodetsky – Pamela Sixfin – Lee Larrison – Connie Ellisor  – Alan Umstead – David Davidson – Mary Katherine Van Osdale – David Angell – Janet Askey – Karen Winkelman – Cate Myer – Catherine Umstead

Viola:
Kris Wilkinson – Jim Grosjean – Gary Van Osdale – Monisa Angell

Cello:
Bob Mason – John Catchings

Conducted by Dennis Burnside

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Tracklist:
01. Ready To Run (Hummon/Seidel) 3.52
02. If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me (Berg/Roboff) 3.05
03. Cowboy Take Me Away (Seidel/Hummon) 4.51
05. Cold Day In July (Leigh) 5.12
06. Goodbye Earl (Linde) 4.19
07. Hello Mr. Heartache (Henderson/Hadley) 3.49
08. Don’t Waste Your Heart (Robison/Maines) 2.50
09. Sin Wagon (Maines/Robison/Smith) 3.41
10. Without You (Maines/Silver) 3.32
11. Some Days You Gotta Dance (Johnson/Morgan) 2.30
12. Hole In My Head (Lauderdale/Miller) 3.22
13. Heartbreak Town (Scott) 3.48
14. Ain’t No Thang But A Chicken Wang 0.07
15. Let Him Fly (Griffin) 3.08

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Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgWide Open Spaces is the fourth studio album and the major label debut of American country music band, the Dixie Chicks. It was their first record with new lead vocalist Natalie Maines, and became their breakthrough commercial success. It received diamond status by the RIAA on February 20, 2003 in the United States, having shipped 14 million units worldwide, while spending more than six years in the Australian ARIA music charts Country Top 20.

At the 41st Grammy Awards, the album was awarded 2 Grammy Awards out of 3 nominations.[5] It was awarded Best Country Album (the first of what would be 4 trophies in this category: they would later win for Fly in 2000, Home in 2003, and Taking the Long Way in 2007) and for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song “There’s Your Trouble”. This is an award the Chicks would win 5 times: in 2000 for “Ready to Run”, in 2003 for “Long Time Gone”, in 2005 for “Top of the World” and 2007 for “Not Ready to Make Nice”, a feat only matched by The Judds. In addition, the Chicks were nominated for Best New Artist in 1999.

“Once You’ve Loved Somebody” had previously been recorded by John & Audrey Wiggins on their 1996 album, The Dream. (by wikipedia)

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The Dixie Chicks spent the first half of the ’90s toiling away on the independent bluegrass circuit, releasing three albums on small labels, before sisters Martie Seidel and Emily Robison decided to revamp their sound in 1995, adding Natalie Maines as their lead singer and, in the process, moving the group away from bluegrass and toward a major label with Sony/Columbia’s revived Monument Records imprint. All of this seems like the blueprint for a big pop crossover move and, to be sure, their 1998 major-label debut Wide Open Spaces was a monumental success, selling over ten million copies and turning the group into superstars, but the remarkable thing about the album is that it’s most decidedly not a sell-out, or even a consciously country-pop record. To be sure, there are pop melodies here, but this isn’t a country-pop album in the vein of Shania Twain, a record that’s big on style and glitz, designed for a mass audience. Instead, Wide Open Spaces pulls from several different sources — the Chicks’ Americana roots, to be sure, but also bits of the alt country from kd lang and Lyle Lovett, ’70s soft rock (any album that features versions of songs by J.D. Souther and Bonnie Raitt surely fits this bill), even the female neo-folkies emerging on the adult alternative rock stations at the end of the decade.

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In other words, it hit a sweet spot, appealing to many different audiences because it was eclectic without being elitist but they also had a true star in Natalie Maines, whose powerful, bluesy voice gave these songs a compelling center. Maines was versatile, too, negotiating the twists and turns of these songs without a hitch, easily moving from the vulnerability of “You Were Mine” to the snarl of “Give It Up or Let Me Go.” The same goes for the Dixie Chicks and Wide Open Spaces as a whole: they are as convincing on the sprightly opener “I Can Love You Better” or the bright, optimistic title song as they are on the breezy “There’s Your Trouble” as they are on the honky tonk shuffle of “Tonight the Heartache’s on Me” and the rocking swagger of “Let ‘Er Rip.” It’s a remarkably wide range and it’s effortlessly eclectic, with the Dixie Chicks bringing it all together with their attitude and understated musicality — as debuts go (and this does count as a debut), they rarely get better than this. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Emily Erwin (guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals)
Natalie Maines (vocals, banjo)
Martie Seidel (fiddle, mandolin, vocals)
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Mark Casstevens (guitar)
Bobby Charles, Jr. (bass)
Joe Chemay (bass)
Billy Crain (guitar)
Lloyd Maines (steel guitar)
George Marinelli (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Tom Roady (percussion)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (guitar)
Paul Worley (guitar)
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Tommy Nash (guitar on 12.)
Tony Paoletta (steel guitar on 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. I Can Love You Better (Hayes/Kostas) 3.54
02. Wide Open Spaces (Gibson) 3.43
03. Loving Arms (Jans) 3.37
04. There’s Your Trouble (Selby/Sillers) 3.13
05. You Were Mine (Erwin/Seidel) 3.37
06. Never Say Die (Ducas/Foster) 3.57
07. Tonight The Heartache’s On Me (Francis/MacRae/Morrison) 3.26
08. Let ‘Er Rip (Crain/Ramos) 2.51
09. Once You’ve Loved Somebody (McHugh/Miller) 3.29
10. I’ll Take Care Of You (Souther) 3.40
11. Am I the Only One (Who’s Ever Felt This Way) (McKee) 3.25
12. Give It Up Or Let Me Go (Raitt) 4.56

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Clint Eastwood – Cowboy Favorites (1963)

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Long before Clint Eastwood achieved iconic status as a superstar film actor and Oscar-winning director, he enjoyed (though reportedly not much) his own teen idol tenure portraying lovable dimwit Rowdy Yates on the popular TV Western Rawhide. Like all TV idols worth their salt, Eastwood had his fling in the recording studio. 1963’s “Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites” leans decidedly toward the W branch of C&W and offers a fascinating opportunity to eavesdrop as Dirty Harry drifts along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. (by Dennis Garvey)

With the rusty door-hinge of a voice he possesses today, it’s hard to imagine a time when Clint Eastwood could have been groomed as a singing star, but in the early ‘60s, when he came to fame as the rebellious Rowdy in the hit Western TV series Rawhide, it wasn’t such a crazy idea. In 1963, playing off the popularity of the show, Cameo-Parkway released an album featuring Eastwood’s versions of classic cowboy-style tunes. While Eastwood is admittedly not an exceptional vocalist, he’s not at all bad; this is by no means some Golden Throats-style celebrity train wreck. At the time, there were plenty of equally photogenic young men with no greater vocal ability than Eastwood being promoted as country singers, many with less of an actual musical background than the jazz-schooled actor. Eastwood’s soft, somewhat laconic croon might not possess the commanding quality that was de rigueur for the era’s country stars, but he never strays off-key, and his style is a kind of cross between legendary cowboy singer Roy Rogers and Dean Martin.

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Most of the tunes he tackles here were already well-known in hit versions by other artists — the Sons of the Pioneers’ “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” Bob Wills’ “San Antonio Rose,” Gene Autry’s “Mexicali Rose,” etc. The loping rhythms, lonesome harmonica, lazy guitar licks, and male backing-vocal choruses are all in keeping with the production conventions of the day for cowboy artists. A couple of non-LP singles sweeten the pot, including the written-to-order “Rowdy,” intended as a sort of theme song for Eastwood’s Rawhide character. While Cowboy Favorites didn’t make Eastwood a C&W star, it wasn’t his country music swan song — years later he would record with Merle Haggard and sing in the films Paint Your Wagon and Honky Tonk Man. (by James Allen)

As far as Clint Eastwood’s career as a Country crooner is concerned, the actor has released a couple of singles—one with Merle Haggard and another with TJ Sheppard—and starred as a failed Depression-era troubadour in 1982’s Honkytonk Man.

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Clint has never done all that well in the vocal department. Back in 1963, when he recorded Cowboy Favorites, Eastwood was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I doubt it was his idea to cut the album—popular actors were frequently called upon to drop some vinyl into the market, to attract viewers to their series, pander to their public and make a little cash.

Since Clint had almost no range as a singer, his producer on that album seemed to bury the poor guy’s voice in harmonica, steel guitar and vocal backup. This album is more of a curiosity than an embarrassment; no one is ever likely to confuse it with the great gunfighter ballads sung by Marty Robbins or with Eddy Arnold’s Country-pop confections. (Henry Cabot Beck)

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Personnel:
Clint Eastwood (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Bouquet Of Roses (Hilliard/Nelson) 2.42
02. Along The Sante Fe Trail (Dubin/Coolidge/Gross) 2.49
03. The Last Round Up (Hill) 2.54
04. Sierra Nevada (Hannah) 2.53
05. Mexicali Rose (Stone/Tenney) 3.00
06. Searching For Somewhere (Harlington/Bramlett) 2.56
07. I’ll Love You More (Ingles) 2.30
08. Tumbling Tumbleweeds (Nolan) 2.50
09. Twilight On The Trail (Alter/Mitchell) 2.56
10. San Antonio Rose (Wills) 2.29
11. Don’t Fence Me In (Porter) 2.38
12. Are You Satisfied (Escamella/Wooley) 2.21

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Charlie Rich – Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) (1975)

FrontCover1.jpgThe 1970s were a magical time for Charlie Rich and producer Billy Sherrill. Sherrill was the first producer who not only understood how gifted Rich was musically — he knew virtually no bounds when it came to popular music styles — but could comprehend and deliver Rich’s vision to record buyers. On the title track, restrained bass notes and minimal, jazzy pianism coast into a space where strings glide into Rich’s verse. Shimmering trills in the piano’s mid-range accent the end of each line, as do the female vocalists of the Nashville Edition. It’s dreamy and ethereal and the listener encounters quite literally what the song’s protagonist is describing. And “All Over Me” is a country tune with Rich’s honky tonk accents caressed by Sherrill’s strings and Pete Drake’s pedal steel in a broken paean to love gone awry. This is the album that pointed to all the various directions Rich wanted to explore musically. Like Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Rich extended it to include new textures and sounds in pop and country. A stunning example is “Since I Fell for You,” where Rich treats the melody like a rhythm & blues crooner and takes it to the breaking point of its country root.

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Side two holds a surprise in the dark, film noir-ish beauty of Margaret Ann Rich’s “Pass on By.” Again, the deep R&B strains meet doo wop, soul, and early rock in a setting provided by Sherrill that could have been in a 1950s thriller sung in a smoky lounge. And while the rest of the side is terrific as well, Rich’s own “Midnight Blues” walks the edge of rock and soul à la the Memphis sound. Shimmering strings in glissandi, stinging lead guitar, a trio of female verses echoing Rich’s lines, and Hargus “Pig” Robins’ honky tonk piano make the track swagger and shimmy, carrying the listener out on a rough and rowdy, darkly tinted note. Whew! (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Tommy Allsup (guitar)
Larry Butler (keyboards)
Jimmy Capps (guitar)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Pete Drake (steel-guitar)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Mary Alice Hoepfinger (harp)
Glenn Keener (guitar)
Sheldon Kurland (violin)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Bob Moore (bass)
Hargus “Pigg” Robbins (keyboards)
Billy Sanford (guitar, mandolin)
Henry Strzelecki (bass)
Pete Wade (guitar),
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The Nashville Edition (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) (C.Rich/Sherrill) 3.03
02. All Over Me (Peters) 2.53
03. A Little Bit Here (A Little Bit There) (M.Rich) 2.31
04. A Mellow Melody (Sherrill) 2.25
05. Since I Fell for You (Johnson) 3.05
06. Pass On By (M.Rich) 2.35
07. Rendezvous (Sherrill/Wilson) 2.53
08. She (C.Rich) 2.49
09. You and I (Strzelecki) 3.24
10. Midnight Blues (Bowman/C.Rich) 3.07

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Willie Nelson – Live At The The Troubadour (West Hollywood CA) (1975)

FrontCover1.jpgThe year was 1975, and Willie Nelson figured he could trust bad luck more than good. His last album, Phases and Stages, had sold a pleasant 400,000 copies, but 21 previous records had largely lackluster sales. He’d tried pig farming on the side and ”lost my ass and all its fixtures.” His house had burned down, and rushing into the flames, he’d saved only his guitar and a pound of Colombian weed. So, after years of bucking the country establishment in Nashville, playing bass for Ray Price, and watching songs he wrote for himself (”Crazy,” ”Night Life,” ”Hello, Walls”) become hits for others, Nelson, who had moved back to his native Texas in 1970, got ready to deliver his Columbia debut, Red Headed Stranger, a concept album of love, murder, and redemption involving an Old West preacher and his cuckolding wife.

It was Nelson’s first effort at combining his own songs with others’ in a cohesive story. ”I Willie Nelson01.jpgwrote it as if I were the guy, which is probably the way I write everything,” he would later say. Produced in three days for $20,000 in a small studio in Garland, Tex., Stranger was everything a commercial country record shouldn’t be. It was a song cycle, not a grab bag of detached ditties. It used his own rough-edged band instead of smooth studio pickers.

When Billy Sherrill, Columbia’s top man in Nashville, heard it, he walked out of the room. When Waylon Jennings and Willie’s manager, Neil Reshen, played it for the New York brass, they thought it was a demo. Nelson reminded them of his creative-control clause and pledged to give it up if the LP bombed — but not even he foresaw what was about to happen.

Stranger became the first Nelson album ever to reach the Billboard pop chart when it debuted at No. 189 on July 26, 1975. It yielded two crossover singles, ”Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and ”Remember Me.” The album, too, was a mainstream hit, selling like Gatorade at a chili cook-off-some 2 million copies over the next decade. It propelled Nelson to cult status overnight and, most important, introduced modern country music, single-handedly revitalizing a genre long considered the province of hayseeds. (ew.com)

And here´s a wonderful Willie Nelson concert from this year … this show should promote his “Red Headed Stranger”.

And here´s is theKWST-FM Broadcast Recording of this shoiw.

Another highligt in the history ofWillie Nelson !

Recorded live at the Troubadour West Hollywood CA., November 06, 1975

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Personnel:
Paul “The Devil” English (drums)
Rex Ludwick (drums)
Bobbi Nelson (piano)
Willie Nelson (guitar, vocals)
Jody Payne (guitar, vocals
Micky Raphael (harmonica)
Bee Spears (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction 0.12
02. Whiskey River (Bush/Stroud) 4.35
03. Stay All Night (Wills/Duncan) 2.55
04. Funny How Time Slips Away (Nelson) 2.29
05. Crazy (Nelson) 1.36
06. Night Life (Nelson) 3.55
07. Me & Paul (Nelson) 2.44
08. Bloody Mary Morning (Nelson) 2.36
09. I Still Can’t Believe You’re Gone (Nelson) 4.08
10. It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way (Nelson) 2.04
11. A Good Hearted Woman In Love With A Good Timin’ Man (Jennings/Nelson) 2.53
12. KWST-FM Los Angeles Radio Station Promo 0.12
13. Time Of The Preacher (Nelson) 2.09
14. I Could Not Believe It Was True (Mellencamp) 1.08
15. Time Of The Preacher Theme (Nelson) 1.16
16. Blue Rock Montana (Nelson/Stutz/Lindeman) 1.30
17.Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (Rose) 2.19
18. Red Headed Stranger Nelson/Stutz/Lindeman) 3.16
19. Time Of The Preacher Theme (reprise) (Nelson) 2.00
20. Unknown Song (instrumental) 1.27
21. Band introductions 1.01
22. What Can You Do To Me Now (Nelson/Cochran) 3.24
23. Shotgun Willie (Nelson) 2.41
24. A Song For You (Russell) 3.00
25. Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms (Traditional) 3.01
26. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Habershon/Gabriel) 3.55

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